STEM and Health: Science Kits Integrating STEM Concepts with Human Health Issues

Period of Performance: 07/15/2015 - 07/14/2016

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Science Take-out, LLC
PITTSFORD, NY 14534
Principal Investigator
Principal Investigator

Abstract

? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Solving human health problems often involves technologies developed through the collaborative work of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. Despite the fact that STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) collaboration is a crucial aspect of biomedical research innovations, many students are still learning science, engineering, and math as isolated disciplines. In addition, many teachers have limited time and resources for designing and preparing hands-on STEM activities. The purpose of this project is to develop and evaluate the use of Science Take-Out kits that integrate STEM concepts into real-life topics related to human health problems and solutions. These STEM and Health kits will be designed to enable middle school science teachers to easily integrate hands-on STEM activities into their existing curricula. These kits wil provide a complete, prepackaged, ready-to-use product - including all materials and supplies for engaging students in hands-on STEM learning. We will evaluate the kits through teacher focus groups and use in middle school classrooms. During this Phase I SBIR project we will: 1. Develop 3 different Science Take-Out STEM and Health kits (including kit activities, materials, and teacher guides) for use with middle school students. 2. Conduct focus groups for middle school science teachers to evaluate prototypes of the kits. 3. Pilot test and then field test the STEM and Health kits in middle school science classrooms. This proposed project is significant because it will increase middle school teachers' use of integrated STEM activities by providing them with content-rich, hands-on activities packaged in ready-to-use kits. The convenience of inexpensive, pre-assembled Science Take-Out kits will allow efficient and economical access to materials for hands-on integrated STEM activities. This project will also allow us to explore strategies needed to overcome the barriers that middle school teachers face when adopting and incorporating integrated STEM activities into their curriculum. This proposed project is innovative because the STEM and Health kits will use real-life scenarios and simple, hands-on activities to integrate STEM content and practices with health science education. These kits will correlate with the Next Generation Science Standards and existing middle school science curricula. The STEM and Health kits will encourage students to learn about the real-world applications of using life science, physical science, technology, engineering, and math to solve human health issues.